Extensive renovations at Joanna Life Skills Centre

The old Karobran site, now called Joanna Life Skills Centre, has been undergoing extensive renovations.

One year ago, Rob and Carol Coleman, the new owners of the centre, received support from some amazingly generous people within the Naracoorte and surrounding districts with donations of bedding and furniture. For that they are very grateful.

Now after a little help from the community and lots of their own money and hard work, the Centre has become a sophisticated retreat which passes certifications of compliance.

Penola locals Matt McGregor and Marcus Devereaux helped with tireless hours of plumbing and electrical work.

“Matt’s piping work was so precise that we joked that it’s a shame the floors aren’t glass, so they could be seen!” said Carol.

As well as quality accommodation there is a commercial size kitchen and dining room, a recreation/teaching centre, and a newly built animal pen which will soon house several therapy animals.

Several months ago, Teys Australia and the Joanna Life Skills Centre were partnered up by Regional Development Australia and part of the centre is now being utilised to help house Teys workers who have moved here from overseas and interstate, with Teys offering workers a place to stay whilst they adjust to their new environment. 

Rob and Carol can’t speak highly enough of Teys. 

“Teys are keen on helping vulnerable people in the community, and are a very community-minded company,” said Rob.

The support the centre has received from Teys has directly impacted the renovations this far, and the incoming workers have helped bring the centre to life.

Currently, Regional Workforce Management (RWM) are working side by side with Teys Australia to place agency workers at Joanna Life Skills Centre.

All workers are screened prior to placement to ensure they are suitable as the centre continues to operate with the vision of providing accommodation and life skills training to vulnerable people.

Although small changes have been made along the way to reflect what’s realistically possible, the dream is still well and truly alive to create a centre “for the people who need it the most.”

There is still lots of work to be done and it’s taking longer than first thought, however, the centre remains very focused on providing quality accommodation and support to vulnerable people and every day is a step closer to the centre being fully operational.

The centre has 25 single and share rooms across multiple buildings and offers its services to vulnerable people.

Vulnerabilities come in many forms: illness, disability, drug addiction, alcohol dependence, family breakdown, relationship breakdown, personal hardships, feelings of hopelessness, social isolation and many more. Through life skills training, counselling and other reputable therapies the centre aims to restore hope and build confidence and personal resilience among vulnerable people.

The multicultural focus only serves to enhance the centre and programs are being designed to embrace these needs within the centre’s service delivery.

Carol is a registered mental health nurse with over 10 years of experience working with complex consumers. Rob’s background is in business operations and finance management.

Due to the renovations that have been done, the centre is ahead of schedule and the focus is now on completing the programs. Rob and Carol agree that it’s fundamental that the programs’ foundations are strong.

When completed, the programs will be both comprehensive and robust. The Colemans are caring for people and want the best possible outcome for them.

For more information on the services Joanna Life Skills Centre has to offer, please call Carol on 0400 633 485 or Rob on 0419 822 484.